Home   Dartford   News   Article

ATIK Dartford warns bouncer shortage could get worse if vaccine passport plan revived


More news, no ads

LEARN MORE

A shortage of bouncers could "cause real problems " and become a "threat to public safety" industry bosses have warned.

Clubs and bars continue to face hitches on the road to recovery from Covid-19 with one venue in Dartford fearing its own problems over security staffing could be "round the corner".

ATIK nightclub in Essex Road, Dartford. Photo: Google
ATIK nightclub in Essex Road, Dartford. Photo: Google

Around one in five night-life and hospitality businesses had to close last month or operate on reduced hours as a result of a shortage of security staff, according to trade body, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA).

Industry bosses have attributed the shortage to a mass exodus of security staff during the pandemic, as well as wider staffing issues around Brexit.

But NTIA says the situation has “deteriorated further” and represents a "threat to public safety" at a time when demand for nights out has seen a resurgence following the ending of lockdown restrictions.

Jordan Craine, who is general manager at ATIK Dartford, said: “The hospitality sector is facing a staffing crisis across the board, including door supervisors.

"We are fortunate that being part of REKOM UK we have access to multiple door team providers, but you never know what’s round the corner."

Jordan Craine, general manager at ATIK Dartford, said the venue still had access to a pool of door supervisors
Jordan Craine, general manager at ATIK Dartford, said the venue still had access to a pool of door supervisors

But the nightclub boss said the current security personnel shortages – which have hit the large UK cities – could soon impacts clubs in towns like Dartford if vaccine passports were to be made mandatory for entry.

In Wales and Scotland, the devolved administrations controversially voted in new laws which mean over-18s must now show a Covid pass to gain access to certain venues including nightclubs.

Mr Craine fears the introduction of something similar in England could "cause real problems", adding another layer of legislation and checks that require "additional manpower".

If this were the case, he added: "It’s not hard to see that this will put further pressure on demand for professional door supervisors who are already in short supply.”

Meanwhile, bosses at nightclub operator Rekom UK, say the shortage is already a pressing concern.

Peter Marks, chief executive of 42-site business Rekom UK, which runs brands including Pryzm and Atik, said the problem had been “building slowly but has become so much worse since the pandemic”.

ATIK in Dartford whilst operating as a "night pub" under previous restrictions
ATIK in Dartford whilst operating as a "night pub" under previous restrictions

He told the PA news agency: “It’s been a real struggle at times but we’ve fortunately often been able to push back with security agencies to find the teams we need just in time.

“But even then, on one or two occasions we’ve had to limit numbers into venues because of security levels."

Mr Marks added that the shortage has resulted in increasing fees for staff, as firms face a cocktail of added bills and VAT costs.

“I think the cost has gone up by around 15%,” he said.

“But that is slightly different everywhere. In somewhere like Dartford where we are the one club, it might not be that much, but in big cities like Nottingham it becomes very competitive trying to secure those staff.”

ATIK Dartford was shut last month after a string of disturbances in which people were assaulted and a police officer hit in the head but it has now reopened.

Head to our business page for all the latest news about business in Kent

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More